Is drinking water is the basic right of people?

Water is an important resource for life on the planet earth. It is necessary for human beings, plants, animals and marine life as these are solely dependent on water. Given its importance, all religious texts mention water as an important divine blessing.

Elections 2018 are just around the corner and the election actively is in full swing, with independent candidates and political parties making promises to lure the voters to get them elected. Election manifestoes of many parties are still not announced despite the fact that only two weeks are remaining for elections. However the campaigns have launched in print, electronic and social media. It is ironic that many abstract ideas and promises are made at this time, which are either too ambitious, or can’t be measured or not directly linked to the welfare of the people.

Provision of safe drinking water is a basic right of the citizens and as per the Article 9 of the constitution, every citizen has a right to life. Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan launched a campaign to increase awareness among the masses to demand water from the candidates who are aspirant to contest the elections.

Given the fact that the water situation in Pakistan is very disturbing in terms of access and quality, most of the people in the country are not linked to the water supply schemes and have to go to far-flung areas to get water. A major portion of the demand for water is met by the private sector in the form of water tankers and mineral water. The private sector solution has its own problems pertaining to the quality and pricing of water. Many companies are not registered and as per the order of the Supreme Court. Many companies were blacklisted due to poor quality of water.

Is drinking water is the basic right of people?

However, the water from government schemes also has serious quality issues and as per the samples collected from all paver the country by PCRWR, around 80 percent of the water is considered unsafe for human consumption, whereas the content of nitrate which is a major source of water borne disease is too high.

This data is now consolidated and presented in an easy to understand format so that awareness can be created among the masses to demand for water and their theme is ‘Vote for Water’. This implies that while choosing the candidate, the voters should see if the candidates consider water important to be mentioned in their manifestoes, speeches, talk shows and political rallies in the country.

They should demand this basic right from the candidates and bring this agenda item a priority issue. The data collected from the country presents a dismal picture and requires urgent attention.
Water is life, treat it right, vote for life, vote for water.

The writer is Social Worker and can be reached at:

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